Today, Boeing announced an agreement with the Mexican government to build the MEXSAT system, including two new L-band satellites with 22m diameter antennas (which appear to be a copy of the SkyTerra-1 and 2 satellites), plus a smaller FSS satellite which will be purchased from Orbital Sciences. This order has been the subject of speculation for several months, because of its implications for the future of Satmex.
However, it also has significant implications for L-band coordination, because the March 2010 order, which approved LightSquared’s re-use of the spectrum assigned to Mexico’s previous generation Solidaridad satellites, did not grant “any authority to share spectrum with [Mexico's planned next generation] system in the absence of coordination”. Indeed the Mexican government’s comments in that proceeding claimed that the power spectral density (PSD) level proposed by SkyTerra/LightSquared “would be harmful to service operating levels circulating through the MEXSAT network”.
With LightSquared now trying to gain approval for its updated business plan, over the protests of the GPS Industry Council and others, and move forward with the buildout and commercial launch of its ATC network next year, this new Mexican system means that there will have to be renewed efforts to reach a new L-band coordination agreement. It will also be interesting to see whether this has any additional implications for the LightSquared business plan, given that LightSquared asserted in requesting approval of its application that the “proposed reuse is critical to the successful deployment of SkyTerra’s next-generation system, particularly with respect to accessing spectrum that is sufficiently contiguous to provide broadband services”.